Beaujolais is a very large region in the southern part of central France. In Beaujoulais, a large swath of granite-based soils produce wines made from the Gamay grape. The only thing good about Beaujolais wines is that they are cheap. The Gamay grape produces a one dimensional, low acid wine, best when chilled and consumed on hot summer days.That is not such a bad thing but why would anyone choose to ignore the glory of well-made Rosé in preference of these lackluster excuses for wine?
The region's claim to fame is a process called carbonic maceration, where whole grapes are fermented without being crushed. These little individual fermentations create a candied, fruity flavor profile that defines the region stylistically. The problem? This style of fermentation masks individuality among producers, making you better off finding true diversity in the candy aisle at the grocery store.
My advice: No matter how attractive the price may be, skip the Beaujoulais and stick to cheap wines that deliver. If you are looking for summer barbecue wine, or something to drink with the big bird on Thanksgiving, grab a bottle of Rosé instead — you won't be disappointed.
Matthew Conway is the creator of www.underripe.com a wine focused website geared towards the under ripe millennial generation. He serves as General Manager / Sommelier at Restaurant Marc Forgione. A 2004 graduate of the American Sommelier Association in both viticulture and vinification and blind tasting, Conway started his sommelier career working for legendary Chef Gray Kunz at Café Gray in the Time Warner Center. He worked with Chef Kunz for over three years, working his way to beverage director and eventually opening his second restaurant Grayz in the Rockefeller Townhouse. Conway met Chef Marc Forgione in the winter of 2008 and was hired to collaborate on the opening of his first restaurant FORGE, now called Restaurant Marc Forgione. Over four years he has served as general manager and sommelier working alongside Chef Forgione. In the summer of 2010, Chef Forgione granted Conway a three month leave of absence to train at the world famous restaurant Taillevent in Paris. Conway is also a writer currently on the editorial advisory board for Boulder, Colorado-based Sommelier Journal.